Regional Diplomacy - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan


Regional Diplomacy

A Asia and the Pacific

                                                                                 Based on these contexts, Japan has been working
Overview                                                                   on Asia-Pacific diplomacy with the following three ba-
Ensuring the stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific                  sic principles. First, in order to build stable international
region surrounding Japan is essential for the security                     relations in this region, Japan will continue to ensure de-
and prosperity of Japan itself, and therefore, strength-                   terrence against any movement that might destabilize
ening Japan’s relations with the countries of this region                  this region, make efforts to resolve issues by diplomatic
is an important task. For this reason, Japan’s Asia-Pa-                    means, and exert various efforts for the consolidation of
cific diplomacy is conducted in various contexts as fol-                   peace. Second, Japan will actively take the lead in func-
lows.                                                                      tional cooperation in a wide variety of areas, including
      The Asia-Pacific is now the center of the world’s                    finance, economic partnership, and transnational issues,
economic potential and dynamism against the back-                          to help the entire region achieve further development.
ground of the rapid economic development of the Peo-                       Third, Japan will work to make the Asia-Pacific region
ple’s Republic of China, India, and other countries in the                 an “open” region by continuing and strengthening dia-
region.1 Relations of interdependence are rapidly devel-                   logue and cooperation among not only countries within
oping among the countries of the region, particularly in                   the region but also outside countries and regions that
East Asia, in a variety of fields. Moreover, as seen in the                play important roles in ensuring the stability and pros-
formation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)                        perity of Asia and the Pacific.
and cooperation on transnational issues, such as terror-                         Under these basic principles, the government of
ism, piracy, and people trafficking, functional links are                  Japan worked to promote regional cooperation in 2004
also becoming deeper. Besides Japan, the Association of                    by advancing dialogue through a variety of bilateral meet-
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, and the Re-                        ings with the leaders and ministers of each country and
public of Korea (ROK), these developments are increas-                     region as well as multilateral conferences, such as the
ingly involving India, Australia, and New Zealand, and                     ASEAN+3 Summit, the Japan-ASEAN Summit, and the
the possible formation of an East Asian community in                       Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit. Japan has also been
the future is coming into view (see the section on                         making efforts to resolve security issues, for example by
ASEAN+3). The countries of the Asia-Pacific region                         participating in the Six-Party Talks regarding the North
have diverse political values, stages of economic devel-                   Korean nuclear issue with the United States (US), ROK,
opment, cultures, and religions, but amid these circum-                    China, Russia, and North Korea, and has been actively
stances the trend toward deeper multitiered cooperation                    promoting cooperation in a variety of fields. In the eco-
has positive implications for regional stability and pros-                 nomic context, the Japan-China Economic Partnership
perity.                                                                    Consultation, the Japan-Korea FTA Joint Study Group,
      Meanwhile, there remain elements of instability                      and the Framework for Comprehensive Economic Part-
that pose obstacles to ensuring the peace and stability                    nership between Japan and ASEAN are typical examples.
of the region. These include the situations on the Ko-                     Furthermore, the government has strengthened partner-
rean Peninsula and in the Taiwan Strait—issues with                        ships together with countries and regions outside the
a direct bearing on Japan’s security—and so-called                         Asia-Pacific region, in a wide range of fields, through
transnational issues, such as terrorist incidents, piracy,                 multilateral frameworks such as the Asia-Pacific Eco-
and organized crime in Southeast Asia. Also, the dev-                      nomic Cooperation (APEC), Asia-Europe Meeting
astation caused by the major earthquake off the coast                      (ASEM), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the Forum
of Sumatra and tsunami in the Indian Ocean that oc-                        for East Asia–Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC).
curred on December 26, 2004, demonstrated that                                   In January 2004 Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro
some areas of the region are vulnerable to natural dis-                    visited the Yasukuni Shrine. China and the ROK ex-
asters.                                                                    pressed dissatisfaction at the visit.

1. The region’s total gross domestic product (US$8.828 trillion in 2003) accounts for approximately one quarter of the global total, its total
trade volume (US$3.781 trillion in 2003) for 23.5% of the global total (Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators Databook, Sep-
tember 2004), and its foreign currency reserves (US$1.718 trillion as of the end of 2003) for 55.4% of the global total (Source: International
Monetary Fund, International Financial Statistics May 2004).


The Major Earthquake off the Coast of
Sumatra and Tsunami Disaster in the In-
dian Ocean
At about 10:00 a.m. (Japan time) on December 26, 2004,
a massive undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0
on the Richter scale occurred off the coast of Sumatra,
Indonesia, triggering huge tsunamis that caused un-
precedented destruction in countries bordering the In-
dian Ocean. This disaster claimed the lives of over
210,000 people in Asia and Africa, including 26 Japan-
ese and numerous people from Western and other
countries and regions around the world (as of February                   Malaysian policemen searching for bodies in Banda Aceh in Janu-
4, 2005). The social infrastructure of affected countries                ary 2005. (Photo: AFP/Jiji)
also suffered severe damage.
      Japan reacted swiftly to the devastation of this dis-              to attend the Special ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting on Af-
aster. In light of the humanitarian needs, the casualties                termath of Earthquake and Tsunami to express Japan’s
among Japanese nationals, and the friendly relations                     determination to render the maximum possible assist-
Japan enjoys with the affected countries, Japan an-                      ance commensurate with its responsibilities as a fellow
nounced on December 28 that it would, if necessary,                      Asian country, to demonstrate its solidarity, and to an-
provide US$30 million for immediate emergency aid                        nounce concrete action. On January 6 Prime Minister
and reconstruction. It also contributed US$3.02 million                  Koizumi attended the ASEAN meeting in Jakarta with
in emergency grant aid to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the                  Minister for Foreign Affairs Machimura Nobutaka. He
Maldives and provided tents, water purifiers, blankets,                  expressed condolences for the victims and Japan’s spe-
electricity generators, medical supplies, and other emer-                cial feelings of sympathy stemming from its own expe-
gency assistance in kind worth ¥60 million to these three                riences of natural disasters. He declared that Japan
countries and Thailand. Japan also dispatched rescue,                    would cooperate with the UN Flash Appeal to the max-
medical, and DNA identification teams several times to                   imum extent and again stressed its commitment to pro-
affected regions as Japan Disaster Relief (JDR) teams,                   vide assistance in three fields: financial resources,
and the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) that were also sent                    knowledge and expertise, and human resources. He
there engaged in search and rescue activities, the deliv-                stated that US$250 million out of the US$500 million in
ery of aid supplies, medical care, and infectious disease                grant aid would be disbursed to affected countries
control. The Japan Platform and other non-govern-                        through relevant international organizations in response
mental organizations (NGOs), too, undertook emer-                        to emergency appeals by the UN and other international
gency humanitarian assistance using government funds.                    organizations, while the other US$250 million would be
Further, in order to ensure that aid in the initial stages               provided as bilateral grant aid to the countries that suf-
was implemented effectively, Japan participated in the                   fered serious damage. In the field of human resources,
Core Group2 set up on the initiative of the US and                       he announced that the SDF would undertake measures
worked to coordinate its assistance with other major                     to assist transportation and improve the hygiene situa-
donor countries and the United Nations (UN).                             tion. In the area of knowledge and expertise, he pro-
      On January 1, 2005, Prime Minister Koizumi an-                     posed that a special session on the disaster in the Indian
nounced that Japan would provide assistance to the                       Ocean be held at the UN World Conference on Disaster
maximum extent in three fields—financial resources,                      Reduction during January 18-22, 2005, in Kobe, the area
knowledge and expertise, and human resources—and                         hit by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake 10 years ear-
would extend to affected countries and international or-                 lier. Furthermore, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Af-
ganizations concerned up to US$500 million in grants                     fairs Tanigawa Shuzen attended the Ministerial Meeting
as interim emergency aid. He also declared his intention                 on Regional Cooperation on Tsunami Early Warning

2. Core Group: After Japanese Foreign Minister Machimura and US Secretary of State Colin Powell agreed on the importance of swiftly forg-
ing international cooperation in telephone talks on December 29, 2004, Japan, the US, Australia, and India started telephone conferences on
December 30 (the UN also participated from the second conference, Canada and the Netherlands from the third). The Core Group closed its
activities at the end of the Special ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting on Aftermath of Earthquake and Tsunami on January 6, 2005.


                                                                            mittee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Japan’s pledge consti-
                                                                            tuted about one-third of the total funding (about
                                                                            US$756 million) announced by about 60 donor coun-
                                                                            tries, and was promptly completed on January 21.
                                                                            These funds were channeled into assistance in the fields
                                                                            of temporary housing provision, health and medical
                                                                            care, water and sanitation, and food as well as emer-
                                                                            gency humanitarian assistance, based on a recognition
                                                                            of the importance of protecting children in particular,
                                                                            who were affected severely by the disaster. Moreover,
                                                                            Japan provided Grant Assistance for Grassroots Hu-
                                                                            man Security Projects in Indonesia, Thailand, and Sri
Senior Vice-Foreign Minister Tanigawa in talks with President Abdul
                                                                            Lanka (totaling approximately ¥160 million) to help
Gayoom of the Maldives in January 2005.                                     victims at the grassroots level.
                                                                                  In terms of human resources, Japan has dispatched
Arrangements, which was held by the Thai government                         a total of about 1,600 personnel from the Ground, Mar-
in Phuket, Thailand, on January 28–29. Based on pro-                        itime, and Air Self-Defense Forces as JDR teams. In ad-
posals from Japan, the delegates announced in the min-                      dition to the search and rescue activities carried out by
isterial declaration that each country and institution                      the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) in the imme-
would cooperate toward establishing an interim tsunami                      diate aftermath of the disaster, an Air Self-Defense Force
early-warning system.                                                       (ASDF) C-130 transport aircraft transported aid sup-
      Under the initiatives launched by Prime Minister                      plies in Sumatra, and personnel dispatched by the
Koizumi, the government has united behind the effort                        Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) proceeded to the
to provide maximum assistance to affected areas (as of                      offing of Sumatra by an MSDF transport vessel carrying
February 3). In terms of financial resources, out of the                    helicopters and vehicles, contributing to transportation,
US$250 million3 in bilateral assistance announced by                        medical care, and disease-control assistance (as of Feb-
Prime Minister Koizumi, Japan decided to provide In-                        ruary 3, 2005).
donesia with ¥14.6 billion, Sri Lanka with ¥8 billion,                            In terms of knowledge and expertise, Japan an-
and the Maldives with ¥2 billion in nonproject grant                        nounced at the UN World Conference on Disaster Re-
aid, each of which was completed on January 19. Se-                         duction that it would actively contribute to building an
nior Vice-Foreign Minister Tanigawa attended the                            Indian Ocean tsunami early-warning mechanism
Ministerial Meeting on Humanitarian Assistance to                           through international institutions and bilateral cooper-
Tsunami Affected Countries in Geneva on January 11                          ation. It also unveiled the Initiative for Disaster Reduc-
and declared that Japan would offer US$250 million in                       tion through ODA, a program for providing support in
response to the UN Flash Appeal, which had requested                        the field of disaster reduction. This initiative aims to
urgent assistance for the following six months (total-                      strengthen support for self-help efforts and disaster pre-
ing US$977 million) to related international institu-                       vention of developing countries, as well as to actively
tions, including the United Nations Children’s Fund                         provide seamless and coherent cooperation correspon-
(UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP), the                               ding to each phase of disaster through dialogue with de-
International Organization for Migration (IOM), the                         veloping countries, making effective use of the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),                                experience, advanced expertise, and technology 4 that
the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner                          Japan has acquired.
for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Red Cross,                                The tsunami caused severe damage to the social in-
the International Federation of Red Cross and Red                           frastructure of affected countries, and it needs to be re-
Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the International Com-                       paired and rebuilt as soon as possible. It is essential to

3. In addition to the US$4 million initially contributed (including US$3.02 million in emergency grant aid and ¥60 million in emergency as-
sistance in kind), ¥24.6 billion in grant aid was provided to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, giving a total of about US$250 million.
4. For example, expertise in the form of disaster-reduction infrastructure, such as the establishment of earthquake-resistance standards to make
cities more resilient to earthquakes and the formulation of hazard maps by local authorities and communities, and such earthquake-resistance
technology as reinforcement of residential housing built from bricks using chemical fibers as well as bridge-strengthening technology for long-
span bridges.


provide not only short-term emergency assistance but                      ternal public debt payments from countries placing
also, in cooperation with the international community,                    such a request until the World Bank and the Interna-
medium- and long-term uninterrupted support. Japan                        tional Monetary Fund (IMF) had conducted a complete
is committed to offering the maximum support based                        evaluation of the reconstruction and funding needs of
on the circumstances of each country and in consulta-                     affected countries. They also agreed to consider the
tion with related countries and institutions. In addition                 need for further steps based on the results of that eval-
to the US$500 million in assistance previously an-                        uation.
nounced, the government of Japan announced on Jan-                             In harmony with related countries and institutions,
uary 11 that it would provide a total of US$40 million                    Japan is determined to implement pledged assistance
(US$20 million to the World Bank and US$20 million                        announced so far in an earnest and efficient manner as
to the Asian Development Bank [ADB]) in reconstruc-                       well as to provide the maximum possible assistance
tion assistance through the trust funds set up in the                     based on medium- and long-term reconstruction plans
World Bank and the ADB.                                                   formulated in response to the circumstances and situa-
      At a meeting of the Paris Club5 held on January 13,                 tion of each country.
the participating countries agreed not to expect any ex-

   1        Korean Peninsula

                                                                          tion, nuclear, and missile problems, based on the Pyong-
(a) Overview                                                              yang Declaration. These efforts are in line with Japan’s
The Korean Peninsula is one of the most important re-                     basic stance to normalize relations with North Korea in
gions to Japan.                                                           a manner that would contribute to the peace and stabil-
     The Republic of Korea (ROK) is not only the geo-                     ity of the Northeast Asian region. Japan’s concerns have
graphically closest country to Japan, but it shares with                  yet to be resolved, however.
Japan such basic values as democracy and market econ-                           Regarding the abduction issue, following Prime
omy, and these two countries are extremely important                      Minister Koizumi’s second visit to Pyongyang in May
to each other as political, economic, and cultural part-                  2004, all the family members of the returnee abductees
ners. In recent years, the bilateral relations have deep-                 returned to Japan. Although since August 2004 three
ened and widened even further. Developing friendlier                      rounds of working-level consultations have been held on
and more cooperative bilateral relations is crucial for                   the abductees whose whereabouts still remain uncon-
the peace and prosperity not only of Japan and the ROK                    firmed, the abduction issue is yet to be resolved. The
ourselves but also of the Northeast Asian region as a                     government of Japan continues to make every effort to
whole.                                                                    achieve a convincingly satisfactory resolution of this is-
     In 2004, mutual interest and exchange between                        sue.
the peoples of Japan and the ROK rose to unprece-                               The North Korean nuclear issue is not only a direct
dented levels, with TV dramas and movies from the                         threat to the peace and stability of the Northeast Asian
ROK gaining tremendous popularity in Japan and the                        region, including Japan, but also a serious challenge to
annual number of people traveling between the two                         the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. Fol-
countries reaching 4 million. There was active ex-                        lowing on from 2003, the second round of the Six-Party
change at the inter-governmental level too, including                     Talks was held in February 2004, and the third round in
summit meetings between Prime Minister Koizumi                            June, and the related countries made diplomatic efforts
Junichiro and President Roh Moo Hyun on Jeju Island,                      to achieve a peaceful resolution of the issue. Subse-
ROK, in July and in Ibusuki City, Kagoshima Prefec-                       quently, however, given that North Korea became neg-
ture, in December.                                                        ative toward further meetings around the time of the
     As regards North Korea, Japan has continued to                       November 2004 US presidential election and the start of
devote diplomatic efforts to achieving a comprehensive                    the second term of the Bush administration, the fourth
resolution of the issues of its concern, such as the abduc-               round of talks was not held in 2004.

5. The Paris Club is an unofficial group of creditor countries that gather to discuss extending debt-rescheduling of public loans to specific
countries. The group was named the Paris Club because France, the chair, has been inviting the creditor countries to Paris for consultations
in response to requests from countries with accumulated debts.


Situation Surrounding the Korean Peninsula

 Month            Japan–North Korea               Movement concerning               Inter-Korean relations                       North Korea’s
                       relations                    the nuclear issue                                                       third-country relations
2004        13–17 Visit to North Korea by gov- 6–10 US private members’                                              17–20 Head of International Liaison De-
January     ernment officials                  visit to North Korea                                                  partment of the Communist Party of China
                                               21-22 Japan-US-ROK trilater-                                          Wang Jiarui visits North Korea
                                               al consultations (Washington)
February    11–14 Japan–North Korea High-Lev- 23 Japan-US-ROK trilateral     3–6 13th Inter-Korean Ministerial       7–10 Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan
            el Consultations (Pyongyang)       consultations (Seoul)         Talks (Seoul)                           of North Korea visits China
                                               25–28 Second round of the
                                               Six-Party Talks (Beijing)
March                                                                        3–5 8th Meeting of the Inter-Kor-       9–13 A high-level delegation from the Kor-
                                                                             ean Economic Cooperation Pro-           ean Peninsula Energy Development Organi-
                                                                             motion Committee (Seoul)                zation (KEDO) visits North Korea
                                                                             29 The ROK government decides           23–25 Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaox-
                                                                             to send North Korea assistance in       ing visits North Korea
                                                                             the form of 200,000 tons of fertil-
                                                                             izer beginning in mid-April
April       25 Japan decides to provide        7–8 Japan-US-ROK trilateral Following the Ryongchon train            10–August 3 King Sihanouk of Cambodia
            US$100,000 in assistance following consultations (San Francisco) explosion, the ROK decides to          visits North Korea
            the Ryongchon train explosion                                    donate US$200,000 to the World         19–21 Chairman of the DPRK National De-
                                                                             Health Organization (WHO) and          fense Commission Kim Jong Il visits China
                                                                             US$1 million through the ROK           22 A train explodes in Ryongchon, North
                                                                             National Red Cross                     Korea
                                                                                                                    29 The US State Department announces its
                                                                                                                    2003 report on international terrorism
May         4–5 Unofficial intergovernmental      12–15 Six-Party Working        5–7 14th Inter-Korean Ministerial 14 Normalization of relations between
            talks (Beijing)                       Group Meeting (Beijing)        Talks (Pyongyang)                  North Korea and San Marino
            22 Japan–North Korea summit                                          26 First Inter-Korean General-     18–22 Maurice Strong, special adviser to
            meeting (Pyongyang)                                                  Level Military Talks (Mt. Kum-     the UN secretary-general, visits North Korea
June                                              13–14 Japan-US-ROK trilater- 2–5 9th Meeting of the Inter-Kor-
                                                  al consultations (Washington) ean Economic Cooperation Pro-
                                                  21–22 Six-Party Working        motion Committee (Pyongyang)
                                                  Group Meeting (Beijing)        3 Second Inter-Korean General-
                                                  23–26 Third round of the Six- Level Military Talks (Mt. Solak)
                                                  Party Talks (Beijing)          29–30 Inter-Korean Working-
                                                                                 Level Military Talks (Paju)
July        1 Japan–North Korea foreign minis-                                   14 A patrol vessel of the North    4–5 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lav-
            terial talks (Jakarta)                                               Korean People’s Armed Forces       rov visits North Korea
            9 Abductee Soga Hitomi reunited                                      crosses the Northern Limit Line    12–14 Minister of the People’s Armed For-
            with her family (Jakarta)                                            (NLL) and intrudes into ROK wa- ces Kim Il Chol of North Korea visits China
            18 Soga and her family return to Ja-                                 ters, and the ROK side fires warn- 23 US announces food assistance (50,000
            pan                                                                  ing shots                          tons) to North Korea
August      5 Japan decides to provide 125,000                                                                      4–7 UN Food and Agriculture Organization
            tons of food aid through the World                                                                      (FAO) Director-General Jacques Diouf visits
            Food Programme (WFP) and US$7                                                                           North Korea
            million of medical supplies through                                                                     17–18 Australian Foreign Minister Alexan-
            the United Nations Children’s Fund                                                                      der Downer visits North Korea
            (UNICEF) and the WHO
            11–12 First Japan–North Korea
            Working-Level Consultations (Beijing)
September   24–25 Second Japan–North Korea 9–10 Japan-US-ROK trilateral                                             10–13 Li Changchun, a member of the
            Working-Level Consultations (Beijing) consultations (Tokyo)                                             Standing Committee of the Political Bureau
                                                                                                                    of the Central Committee of the Communist
                                                                                                                    Party of China, visits North Korea
                                                                                                                    11–14 British Deputy Secretary of State for
                                                                                                                    Foreign Affairs Bill Rammell visits North
October                                                                                                             18–20 Kim Yong Nam, president of the
                                                                                                                    Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People’s
                                                                                                                    Assembly, visits China
November    9–14 Third Japan–North Korea          20–21 At the Asia-Pacific                                         9–14 Vice Foreign Minister Kim Yong Il of
            Working-Level Consultations (Pyon- Economic Cooperation (APEC)                                          North Korea visits China
            gyang)                                Summit five of the six parties                                    13–16 KEDO executive director visits
                                                  (excluding North Korea) agree                                     North Korea
                                                  to restart the Six-Party Talks                                    13–16 The EU Troika delegation visits
                                                  30 US–North Korea contacts                                        North Korea
                                                  (New York)
December    24 Japan releases the results of de- 3 US–North Korea contacts       15 Ceremony to mark the start of 1 Suspension of the KEDO light-water reac-
            tailed tests conducted to verify the  (New York)                     production at the Gaeseong In-     tor project extended by one year
            authenticity of information and evi-                                 dustrial Complex
            dence provided by North Korea at the
            Japan–North Korea Working-Level
            Consultations in November
            25 Japan conveys the test results to
            the North Korean side


(b) The North Korean Nuclear Issue6
Two rounds of the Six-Party Talks were held in 2004, in
February and June, and they indicated some signs of
progress for the future resolution of the nuclear issue.
Particularly at the third round in June, concrete propos-
als were presented by both the US and North Korea. Since
this meeting, however, North Korea became negative                                                       (Photo)
with regard to participation in the Six-Party Talks. As a
result, the fourth round was not held in 2004, despite the
agreement reached at the third round to schedule the next
round of talks before the end of September.
      The Six-Party Talks went through the following
process in 2004. In February Japan took part in the sec-
ond round of the Six-Party Talks held in Beijing in a
manner consistent with the first round to peacefully re-
solve the nuclear issue by North Korea’s dismantlement                     serted his commitment to the final goal of denu-
of its nuclear programs through the Six-Party Talks                        clearization of the Korean Peninsula and to seeking a
process for peace and stability in Northeast Asia. At the                  peaceful resolution to the nuclear issue through dia-
second round, the six parties reaffirmed the common                        logue. He also indicated North Korea’s active participa-
goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and                      tion in the Six-Party Talks process and its possible
agreed to hold the third round of talks in Beijing by the                  contribution to achieving progress in the talks. On the
end of June and to establish a working group to prepare                    visit of Prime Minister Koizumi to North Korea in May,
for the next round. The second round thus succeeded in                     Chairman Kim Jong Il made a statement defining de-
institutionalizing the Six-Party Talks process and                         nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as the final goal
marked a step forward toward the resolution of the nu-                     and expressed his desire to make efforts toward a peace-
clear issue. However, perceptions and stances remained                     ful resolution through the Six-Party Talks. He also af-
divergent among the six parties over the scope of the                      firmed that a freeze on the nuclear programs would be
term “all nuclear programs” and the existence of North                     the first step toward denuclearization and that it would
Korea’s uranium-enrichment program. Japan, the US,                         be accompanied by inspections.
and the ROK are of the view that “all nuclear programs”                          Amid these developments, in May the first meeting
must be completely, verifiably, and irreversibly disman-                   of the working group was held, and views were actively
tled, while North Korea claims that peaceful use of                        exchanged in preparation for the third round. In June,
atomic energy should be permitted and that the dis-                        the third round of talks was held, preceded by the sec-
mantlement should be limited to “nuclear weapons pro-                      ond working group meeting. At the third round of the
grams.”                                                                    Six-Party Talks, both the US and North Korea made
      For a while after the second round, North Korea                      concrete proposals for a peaceful resolution of the nu-
made a series of positive statements regarding the reso-                   clear issue. As a result, although differences in percep-
lution of this issue. When Chairman of the National De-                    tion and stance over issues such as the existence of a
fense Commission of the DPRK Kim Jong Il visited the                       North Korean uranium-enrichment program remained
People’s Republic of China in April, for example, he as-                   among the six parties, there was a highly substantive ex-

6. The nuclear crisis began when North Korea declared its withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
in 1993. The situation was defused by the signing of the Agreed Framework between the United States (US) and North Korea in October 1994,
promoted by the visit of former US President Jimmy Carter to North Korea in June that year. Under this framework the US agreed to supply
light-water reactors and alternative energy to North Korea in return for North Korea’s freezing its nuclear-related facilities, complying with
the NPT, and implementing the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Safeguards Agreement. (The Korean Peninsula Energy Devel-
opment Organization [KEDO] was established in 1995 based on this agreement.)
      However, on the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly to North Korea in October 2002, the North Korean authorities ad-
mitted their clandestine uranium-enrichment program, and the suspicions over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions were revived. In November
2002 the KEDO Executive Board decided to suspend the heavy fuel oil supply to North Korea. In response, North Korea expelled IAEA in-
spectors in December 2002, and in January 2003 it announced its withdrawal from the NPT. However, following vigorous diplomatic efforts
made by the countries concerned, in April 2003 the Three-Party Talks were held among the US, North Korea, and China, and the first round
of the Six-Party Talks among Japan, the US, the ROK, China, Russia, and North Korea was held in August that year.


change of opinions. During the talks, North Korea out-                     ward North Korea. On December 4 North Korea re-
lined details of its proposal for compensation in return                   leased a statement by a Foreign Ministry spokesman that
for freezing its nuclear programs, and it asserted: that                   North Korea would wait and see the second Bush ad-
the freeze should cover currently operational nuclear-                     ministration’s North Korea policy, and in the end the
weapons-related facilities; that the US must participate                   fourth round of the Six-Party Talks was not held in
in the provision of 2 million kilowatts of energy assist-                  2004.
ance as compensation for the freeze; and that the US                            In 2005 North Korea has maintained its highly un-
should remove North Korea from its list of “state spon-                    productive attitude toward the resolution of the nuclear
sors of terrorism.”7 The US also made a proposal that on                   issue, as demonstrated in its Foreign Ministry statement
the premise of North Korea’s dismantlement of its nu-                      on February 10 to announce production of nuclear
clear program, in the initial phase of the freeze, North                   weapons and its indefinite suspension of participation
Korea declare, stop, and place under surveillance all of                   in the Six-Party Talks.
its nuclear programs. And in response to these steps be-
ing verifiably taken, the proposal stipulated that related
                                                                           (c) Abduction Issue
countries including the US would provide a provisional                     There was some progress in the abduction issue in 2004,
multilateral “security assurance” and begin considera-                     including the return to Japan of family members of the
tion of long-term energy assistance to North Korea.                        returnee abductees as a result of Prime Minister
      After the third round of talks, however, North Ko-                   Koizumi’s second visit to North Korea in May. At the
rea adopted a negative attitude toward the talks. Refer-                   Japan–North Korea Summit Meeting held in Pyong-
ring to the entry of a large number of North Korean                        yang, both leaders reaffirmed the Pyongyang Declara-
defectors into the ROK in July, the revelation of the                      tion as the foundation of Japan–North Korea relations
ROK’s past uranium-enrichment and plutonium-sepa-                          and their adherence to this declaration. Based on this,
ration experiments in September, and the enactment of                      Chairman Kim Jong Il promised to conduct from
the North Korean Human Rights Act8 in the US, North                        scratch a thorough reinvestigation regarding the ab-
Korea claimed that the foundation of the Six-Party Talks                   ductees whose whereabouts remain unconfirmed. The
had been destroyed and refused to participate in the                       government of Japan, meanwhile, announced provision
fourth round of talks, which the parties had agreed to                     of 250,000 tons of food aid and US$10 million worth of
hold before the end of September 2004 at the third                         medical supplies and other humanitarian aid to North
round.                                                                     Korea through relevant international organizations. As
      Following the reelection of US President George W.                   a result of the summit, five family members of the re-
Bush on November 2, diplomatic efforts were made to                        turnee abductees returned to Japan with Prime Minis-
restart the Six-Party Talks by the end of 2004. At the                     ter Koizumi and were reunited with their families.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic                          Although Charles Jenkins, husband of returnee abductee
Leaders’ Meeting held in Chile in November, for exam-                      Soga Hitomi, and their two daughters did not travel to
ple, the leaders of the five parties other than North Ko-                  Japan with Prime Minister Koizumi, they were reunited
rea agreed to the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.                 with Mrs. Soga in Indonesia in July and traveled to Japan
Meanwhile, in talks with North Korean Vice Foreign                         on July 18. On November 3, a US court martial sen-
Minister Kim Gye Gwan at the Third Japan–North Ko-                         tenced Mr. Jenkins to up to 30 days’ imprisonment and
rea Working-Level Consultations held in Pyongyang in                       a dishonorable discharge. After serving his sentence he
November and at the US–North Korea contacts in New                         was released on November 27, and on December 7 the
York, respectively, Japan and the US called on North                       four members of the family arrived home in Sado.
Korea to agree to the early resumption of the Six-Party                         Meanwhile, the issue of the abductees whose
Talks. On the other hand, however, North Korea re-                         whereabouts are still unconfirmed remains unresolved
peatedly made statements that the environment was not                      and continues to be a major issue. Given a promise
conducive to holding the talks, criticizing US policy to-                  made by Chairman Kim Jong Il, Japan–North Korea

7. North Korea is described as a “state sponsor of terrorism” in the US State Department’s 2003 Patterns of Global Terrorism report, which was
released in April 2004.
8. The North Korean Human Rights Act stipulates that the human rights of North Korean residents should be improved and assistance be
provided to North Koreans in need of help and to North Korean defectors. In the provisions on US assistance to North Korea other than hu-
manitarian aid, the act mentions the issue of abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korea. The bill was passed by the House of Represen-
tatives in July 2004 and by the Senate after some amendments on October 4, 2004. It was signed into law by President Bush on October 18.


                                                            nation, and the next day, as well as reporting the results
                                                            of the examination to North Korea through its embassy
                                                            in Beijing, the government of Japan conveyed the mes-
                                                            sage that unless North Korea acted swiftly and with sin-
                                                            cerity it would take stringent measures. A North Korean
                                                            Foreign Ministry spokesman released high-handed
                                                            statements on December 31 that North Korea would
                         (Photo)                            “neither accept nor admit the results but resolutely re-
                                                            ject them,” and that North Korea “no longer believes
                                                            that any DPRK-Japan inter-governmental contact is
                                                                  On January 26, 2005, through its embassy in Bei-
                                                            jing, North Korea delivered a “memorandum” dated
                                                            January 24 to Japan, which claimed that the results of the
                                                            Japanese examination of the remains supposed to be
                                                            those of Yokota Megumi were a “fabrication.” In re-
Working-Level Consultations were held in August and         sponse, Japan released a statement by the Ministry of
September 2004 as a follow-up to the Japan–North Ko-        Foreign Affairs (MOFA) press secretary noting that
rea Summit in May, but the North Korean authorities         North Korea’s response was extremely unconstructive.
failed to provide a convincing account of the victims’      Commenting on the North Korean memorandum on
whereabouts. At the third round of working-level con-       February 10, the government of Japan again demanded
sultations in November, a Japanese delegation traveled      that North Korea immediately return the abductees who
to Pyongyang to directly interview the officials of the     are alive and promptly provide a full account of all the
North Korean “Investigation Committee” responsible          abductees whose whereabouts remain unknown. It also
for reinvestigating the 10 abductees whose whereabouts      repeated that if North Korea continuously takes no
are still unconfirmed. The delegation also met “wit-        measures requested by the Japanese government, Japan
nesses” in an effort to reveal the truth about the ab-      would take stringent measures. Following North Korea’s
ductees whose whereabouts remain unconfirmed.               persistence in its unconstructive attitude, demonstrated
However, there was no change in the conclusion the          in a responding statement on February 24 to the Japan-
North Korean authorities provided that eight of the 10      ese comments, on February 25 the government of Japan
victims were already dead and that the other two’s entry    released a statement by the MOFA press secretary urging
into North Korea was not confirmed. The Japanese del-       North Korea “to take prompt and satisfying measures,”
egation took the information and evidence it had gained     and again it warned that if North Korea maintained its
through the consultations back to Japan and conducted       unconstructive stance the government of Japan would
a thorough examination of them.                             take stringent measures and that this would bring no
       As a result of this examination, DNA extracted       benefit to North Korea.
from “remains” provided by the North Korean author-               In response to North Korea’s inaction, in Decem-
ities, alleged to be those of Yokota Megumi, one of the     ber 2004 the National Diet special committees on North
abductees, was found to be that of different persons.       Korea’s abductions of Japanese nationals, which were es-
Following this, the government of Japan lodged a vehe-      tablished in the House of Representatives and the House
ment protest with North Korea through the North Ko-         of Councillors in October and November 2004, respec-
rean embassy in Beijing. However, the government of         tively, adopted resolutions urging the implementation
North Korea made a statement not to accept or to ad-        of effective sanction measures that can be taken under
mit the results of the examination and that it hoped the    current Japanese law.
truth would be revealed in the future. Besides, the ex-           Given the promise of Chairman Kim Jong Il at the
amination of the other information and evidence re-         May 2004 Japan–North Korea Summit Meeting to con-
vealed no objective basis for North Korea’s claim           duct a reinvestigation of the 10 abduction victims whose
regarding the deaths of eight of the 10 abductees and the   whereabouts were still unconfirmed, coupled with the
unconfirmed entry of the other two into North Korea.        Pyongyang Declaration that stipulates that both sides
On December 24, following these developments, the           “sincerely tackle outstanding problems between Japan
government of Japan released the results of the exami-      and the DPRK,” the government of Japan has strongly


requested that North Korea accept the test results pre-       turned to Japan in 2004. The Japanese authorities ar-
sented by the government of Japan with sincerity and          rested them and are working to find out the full truth re-
the Japanese requests grounded on these results, return       garding the abduction cases.
the abductees who are alive to Japan immediately, and
provide a truthful account of the abduction issue as soon
                                                              (d) The “North Korean Defectors”
as possible.
      Furthermore, the government of Japan has been           North Korean citizens who have escaped from North
conducting investigations regarding missing Japanese          Korea to foreign countries are generally called “North
nationals about whom the possibility of abduction by          Korean defectors.” It is speculated that severe food
North Korea cannot be ruled out. If any further cases are     shortages and economic difficulties in the country lie be-
recognized as abductions, the government of Japan will        hind their escape. In its policy vis-à-vis North Korean
urge North Korea to confirm their whereabouts. Indeed,        defectors, the government of Japan takes into account
the government of Japan raised this issue at the three        every sort of perspective including the safety of people
rounds of Japan–North Korea working-level consulta-           concerned and other humanitarian considerations.
tions and requested that North Korea promptly present              Coping with this issue matters also for the entire
any information available.                                    Northeast Asian region, and, as such, it is beneficial for
      Regarding the humanitarian assistance announced         the countries concerned to exchange their views on this
by Prime Minister Koizumi on his visit to North Korea         issue. Japan has exchanged views on various levels with
in May, on August 5 the government of Japan an-               the countries concerned, including China.
nounced the provision of 125,000 tons of food aid
through the World Food Programme (WFP) and US$7
                                                              (e) ROK–North Korea Relations
million worth of medical supplies and other humani-           The Roh Moo Hyun administration advocates the Policy
tarian aid through the United Nations Children’s Fund         for Peace and Prosperity as the centerpiece of its policy
(UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).             toward North Korea. This policy aims to firstly ensure the
On September 30, parts of the aid started arriving in         “peace” and “security” of the Korean Peninsula through
North Korea. To confirm these aid supplies were prop-         the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue, and
erly distributed to citizens, staff of MOFA participated      then to achieve “prosperity” on the peninsula through the
in monitoring conducted by the WFP and other relevant         advancement of the reconciliation and exchange between
international organizations. During the monitoring ac-        the ROK and North Korea. To that end, it presents four
tivities, they confirmed that recipients had received the     principles: (1) resolution of pending issues through dia-
Japanese aid with gratitude.                                  logue; (2) mutual trust and reciprocity; (3) smooth in-
      However, following later developments, including        ternational cooperation based on initiatives by the
the examination that revealed that the “remains” pro-         authorities in the ROK and North Korea; and (4) the ex-
vided by North Korea alleged to be those of Yokota            panded participation of the public. The Peace and Pros-
Megumi were false on December 8, 2004, the govern-            perity Policy is basically the heir to the “Reconciliation
ment of Japan adopted the stance that it would be diffi-      and Cooperation Policy” under former President Kim
cult to provide the rest of the humanitarian aid even         Dae Jung, which sought to “actively promote exchange
with a request from the relevant international organiza-      and cooperation with North Korea, while maintaining a
tions.                                                        strong defense posture.”
      Related to the abduction issue, Japan has called for          In the first half of 2004, South-North dialogue was
North Korea to hand over the Yodo-go hijack suspects          maintained, and exchange/cooperation projects between
over the years. Testimony by the former wife of a Yodo-       the ROK and North Korea made further progress, with
go suspect and other evidence has made evident that the       ministerial-level meetings held in February and May,
suspects were also involved in the abduction cases that       meetings of the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
took place in Europe. Uomoto Tamiko (on the interna-          Promotion Committee held in March and May, and
tional wanted list for alleged violations of passport reg-    general-level military talks held in May and June.
ulations), the wife of Yodo-go suspect Uomoto Kimihiro              To ensure the substantive development of South-
(formerly named Abe Kimihiro), and Tanaka Kyoko,              North relations, the ROK government is aiming to de-
the wife of Tanaka Yoshizo, who was handed over to            velop balanced relations in the economic and security
Japan in June 2000, arrested, tried, and is currently serv-   fields. To this end, while promoting three major eco-
ing a prison sentence for his role in the hijacking, re-      nomic cooperation projects—the Gaeseong Industrial


Complex, Inter-Korean Road and Railroad Reconnec-                          power in terms of ideology, politics, the military, and
tion, and the Mt. Geumgang Tourism program—it has                          the economy. In recent years it has made particular ef-
pursued measures to alleviate military tension and build                   forts to reconstruct its economy, and since 1999 it has
trust by regularizing military meetings at the general                     maintained positive economic growth for five straight
level.                                                                     years. Nevertheless, the economic conditions remain in
      However, when the ROK government allowed a                           a difficult situation, and in particular the shortage of
group of over 460 North Korean defectors who had been                      electricity is thought to be severe. Furthermore, al-
living in “third countries” in Southeast Asia to enter the                 though agricultural production has continued to re-
ROK on July 27 and 28, 2004, North Korea reacted by                        cover since 2001 and food production in 2004 is thought
releasing a statement criticizing this decision. The state-                to have been 3% up on the previous year’s crop, the do-
ment said that North Korea considered this action as a                     mestic production of food remains below the minimum
flagrant violation of and challenge to the Inter-Korean                    necessary to sustain the population, and North Korea is
Joint Declaration on June 15, 2000, and as the most hos-                   still thought to be forced to rely on assistance from out-
tile conduct to destroy the system in the north. North                     side.
Korea subsequently did not cooperate in holding the                               Due to its severe economic difficulties since the col-
15th Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks scheduled for Au-                      lapse of the socialist bloc, North Korea has been imple-
gust 3-6 as well as the 10th Inter-Korean Economic Co-                     menting reforms limited to partial and gradual steps
operation Promotion Committee scheduled for August                         while emphasizing its economic interests since the mid-
31-September 3. Even under such circumstances as                           1990s. In particular, on July 1, 2002, North Korea car-
these, however, work has continued on the three major                      ried out comprehensive reforms in a broad range of
North-South cooperation projects. In particular, an                        fields called the “Measures to Improve Economic Man-
ROK company began production at the Gaeseong In-                           agement.” These reforms consisted of (1) the normal-
dustrial Complex in December 2004.                                         ization of the price system through major adjustments
                                                                           to prices, wages, and the exchange rate,11 (2) the im-
(f) North Korean Domestic Politics and                                     provement of production motivation and efficiency by
    Economy                                                                expanding the independence of individual units12 and
Chairman of the National Defense Commission Kim                            introducing an incentive system,13 (3) the gradual abo-
Jong Il rules all of North Korea, mainly through the                       lition of the distribution system, and (4) the scaling back
Workers’ Party of Korea, and has been implementing a                       of social security through increases in public-service
military-first policy known as the “Songun Policy.”9 In                    charges.
November 2004 it was reported that some portraits of                              What is more, there are now over 300 “general
Chairman Kim Jong Il had been removed. The same                            markets,” which were first established in 2003, in North
month, it was also reported that North Korea’s official                    Korea, where a wide variety of goods such as home ap-
media had dropped an honorific title when mentioning                       pliances, clothing, and foodstuffs are dealt with.
Chairman Kim by name. However, there is no definite                               Observers are waiting to see how quickly the re-
information that change has occurred within the North                      form measures are implemented and how wide-ranging
Korean regime.                                                             they are, as well as how influential any downside to the
     Since 1998 North Korea has been advocating the                        reforms is, such as triggering the worship of money or
construction of a “powerful nation”10 that is a major                      increasing the gap between rich and poor.

9. General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea Kim Jong Il serves as chairman of the National Defense Commission, a body described in
Article 100 of the North Korean constitution (revised on September 5, 1998) as “the highest military leading organ of State power and an or-
gan for general control over national defence.” According to the explanation in the ROK’s 2004 White Paper on Defense, the “Songun Policy”
means maintaining the regime, strengthening its military power, giving the military a leading role in building up the economy, giving the mil-
itary favorable treatment, and spreading the revolutionary spirit throughout society. North Korea has about 1.08 million military personnel
(The Military Balance 2003–04), accounting for about 5% of the country’s total population. Defense spending accounts for 15.5% of the na-
tional budget (the ROK’s 2004 White Paper on Defense).
10. North Korea aims to build a powerful socialist country in all fields, including politics, ideology, the military, and the economy.
11. It is thought that government-set prices and wages were raised, and the exchange rate was normalized, taking into account black-market
12. This aims to expand the independent disposal right of cooperative farms to increase the permitted acreage of individual plots, and to ex-
pand the operational independence of factories and companies. It also permits those who exceed financial production targets to sell their ex-
cess produce.
13. Extra rewards are given to factories and companies with high profitability, and extra wages (bonuses) are paid to their workers.


  Economic Conditions in North Korea
                                                    North Korea’s Economic Growth Rate                                                     Economic
 GNP                                                            (1990–2003)                                                             growth rate (%)
1,200                                                                                                                                               10
                                             GNP (US$100 million)             GNP per person (US$)               Economic growth rate (%)




  600                                                                                                                                               0




      0                                                                                                                                             –10
           1990     1991      1992      1993      1994      1995     1996      1997      1998      1999     2000      2001      2002      2003       (Year)
Source: Bank of Korea

 Annual spending                 Changes in North Korea’s National Budget and National Defense Budget
(100 million won)                                             (1978–2003)
                                                                                      Annual spending             National defense budget






          1978    1980     1982      1984      1986      1988      1990     1992      1994      1996      1998     2000      2002                       (Year)
Note: Annual spending for 2002 is an estimate, as the final value was not disclosed. One won equals approximately ¥0.8 as the official rate for North Korea
      became equal to approximately 150 won per US$1 around July 2003. Therefore, one billion won is equal to ¥800 million.
Source: Radio Press


                                                                            visa exemptions for ROK citizens, Prime Minister
(g) Japan-ROK Relations                                                     Koizumi confirmed that the government of Japan would
Mutual interest and exchange between the peoples of                         give a temporary exemption during Expo 2005 Aichi,
Japan and the ROK expanded substantially during 2004,                       Japan, from March to September 2005 and that, after
spurred by the joint hosting of the 2002 FIFA World                         due consideration of the results of this, it would take a
Cup, the holding of the Year of Japan-ROK National Ex-                      permanent exemption into consideration. The leaders
change14 and the Japan-ROK Joint Project for the Fu-                        also discussed issues relating to North Korea, and Prime
ture,15 and the Hanryu (Korean style) boom in Korean                        Minister Koizumi outlined the results of his visit to
popular culture in Japan.                                                   North Korea on May 22. They also affirmed the impor-
      Regarding people-to-people exchange between                           tance of encouraging cooperation among Japan, the US,
Japan and the ROK, the leaders of the two countries                         and the ROK and of calling on China to play a positive
agreed in the Japan-ROK Summit Joint Statement at a                         role in order to achieve further progress toward a re-
summit meeting in June 2003 to hold Japan-Korea                             sumption of the Six-Party Talks.
Friendship Year 200516 to commemorate the 40th an-                                Minister for Foreign Affairs Machimura Nobutaka,
niversary of the normalization of relations between the                     appointed in September 2004, visited the ROK from No-
two countries in order to further solidify mutual under-                    vember 5 to 7. Besides paying a courtesy call on Presi-
standing between the two peoples.                                           dent Roh Moo Hyun, he held talks with ROK Minister
      The ROK government, as part of its policy of open-                    of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki Moon. They ex-
ing Japanese popular culture to ROK citizens, an-                           changed opinions on the North Korean nuclear issue
nounced that it would embark on the fourth phase of                         and on practical cooperation measures to advance
liberalization in September and December 2003 and re-                       Japan-ROK relations. They also confirmed the need for
moved the ban on all sales of Japanese movies, records,                     cooperation in the regional and international commu-
and game software in January 2004. In the broadcasting                      nity, including efforts to assist reconstruction in Iraq.
field, although some restrictions still remain, the gov-                          From December 17 to 18 President Roh Moo Hyun
ernment has implemented drastic market-opening                              visited Japan and held a summit meeting with Prime
measures.17                                                                 Minister Koizumi in Ibusuki City, Kagoshima Prefec-
      As for exchange at the governmental level, Prime                      ture. At the meeting, the two leaders agreed that regular
Minister Koizumi visited Jeju Island in the ROK from                        summit meetings should continue under the name
July 21 to 22 and held a summit meeting with ROK Pres-                      “Shuttle Summit Meetings”18 and strengthened their
ident Roh Moo Hyun. Both leaders agreed to hold sum-                        trust-based personal relationship. They also agreed to co-
mit meetings when necessary to further the development                      operate toward the success of Japan-Korea Friendship
of friendly relations between the two countries. Regard-                    Year 2005, which marks the 40th anniversary of the nor-
ing issues of the past, Prime Minister Koizumi said that                    malization of Japan-ROK relations, and to work together
Japan would reflect where reflection is needed concern-                     to promote commemorative events. Furthermore, the
ing past history and, based on that, make efforts to pro-                   two leaders decided to give positive consideration to in-
mote future-oriented bilateral relations. On the issue of                   creasing the number of daily flights between Haneda and

14. This aimed at promoting exchange projects not only between the two governments but involving the peoples of the two countries in ex-
change in a wide range of fields, based on the important opportunity afforded by the joint hosting of the World Cup by Japan and the ROK.
It was proposed at talks between then Prime Minister Obuchi Keizo of Japan and then Prime Minister Kim Jong Pil of the ROK in September
1999 and was officially agreed at Japan-ROK ministerial-level talks in October the same year.
15. At the Japan-ROK Summit Meeting in July 2002, Prime Minister Koizumi and then President Kim Dae Jung agreed to implement this
project in order to commemorate the success of the World Cup jointly hosted by the two nations and promote youth, sports, and grassroots
exchange with a target of over 10,000 participants annually. As part of this project, sumo tournaments were held in Seoul and Busan in Feb-
ruary 2004, the first sumo tournaments to be held in the ROK since World War II.
16. In Japan-Korea Friendship Year 2005, the slogan of which is “Together! Toward the Future, Into the World,” the public and private sec-
tors of the two countries will work together to hold exchange events in a variety of fields, including culture, the arts, sports, and tourism. In
June 2004 the Japanese organizing committee was launched, with President Hirayama Ikuo of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and
Music as chairman.
17. The Japanese movie Love Letter and Miyazaki Hayao’s animated film Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) were released in the
ROK and attracted 1.2 million and 2.0 million moviegoers, respectively. Meanwhile, Sekai no Chushin de, Ai o Sakebu (Crying for Love at the
Heart of the World) set a record for ticket reservations for a Japanese movie. Recently the movie Seoul and the TV series Friends, Sonagi, and
Stars Echo have been produced jointly by Japan and the ROK, and there is a growing atmosphere of joint endeavors in a variety of fields, in-
cluding cinema, theater, opera, and sports.
18. “Shuttle Summit Meetings” means that Prime Minister Koizumi and President Roh Moo Hyun will visit each other about twice a year to
exchange their opinions.


                                                                           measures for asserting Japan’s position. Recently,
                                                                           prompted by the enactment by the Shimane Prefectural
                                                                           Assembly of the “Takeshima Day” ordinance on March
                                                                           16, 2005, the ROK has hardened its stance toward Japan,
                                                                           as illustrated by the fact that President Roh Moo Hyun
                                                                           released an open letter to the ROK people on Japan-
                                                                           ROK relations on March 23. But the Japanese govern-
                                                                           ment, while clearly explaining Japan’s position, has
                                                                           requested the ROK government to act calmly.
                                                                                 When the ROK issued postage stamps depicting the
                                                                           subject of Takeshima in January 2004, Japan protested
Prime Minister Koizumi meets President Roh Moo Hyun for summit
talks in July. (Photo: Office of the Cabinet Public Relations, Cabinet
                                                                           strongly, appealing through the Secretariat of the Uni-
Secretariat)                                                               versal Postal Union (UPU) to all UPU member states in
                                                                           the form of a diplomatic circular that the postage stamps
Kimpo airports from the current four to eight. In addi-                    were against the spirit of the Preamble and other deci-
tion, they reached an agreement on a speedy conclusion                     sions of the UPU Constitution.
to negotiations on a Japan-ROK Treaty on Mutual Legal                            With regard to the issue of the name of the Sea of
Assistance in Criminal Matters19 and the entry into ne-                    Japan, the “Sea of Japan” is the only internationally es-
gotiations toward concluding an agreement for the pro-                     tablished name for the relevant sea area, and the Japan-
tection of migratory birds.20 Regarding the North                          ese government has elucidated the same position. In
Korean nuclear issue, both leaders confirmed that this                     March 2004 the United Nations (UN) officially accepted
issue must be resolved peacefully through dialogue un-                     that it will adopt a policy that the “Sea of Japan” must
der the framework of the Six-Party Talks and that coop-                    be used as the standard name in official UN documents.
eration between Japan, the ROK, and the US should be
further strengthened. Since the beginning of 2005, the
                                                                           (h) Japan-ROK Economic Relations
grand opening of Japan-Korea Friendship Year 2005 was                      In the economic field, Japan and the ROK have been
held in Tokyo on January 25, and Prime Minister                            working to promote trade and investment and establish
Koizumi attended the reception. On January 27 an open-                     closer economic relations, based on the Japan-ROK
ing ceremony was also held in Seoul, attended by Presi-                    Summit Joint Statement issued on the occasion of Pres-
dent Roh Moo Hyun. Following this, various related                         ident Roh Moo Hyun’s visit to Japan in June 2003.
events are now being held.                                                      Concerning a Japan-ROK Economic Partnership
      There remain unsettled issues between Japan and                      Agreement (EPA), five meetings were held in 2004 for
the ROK, such as the issue of territorial rights over                      the negotiations, which have begun since December
Takeshima Island and the issue of the name of the Sea                      2003. Groups on (1) general rules and dispute resolu-
of Japan. It is Japan’s consistent position that in the light              tion; (2) trade in goods; (3) duty-free measures, plant
of both historical facts and international law, Takeshima                  quarantine measures, and technical barriers to trade; (4)
is clearly an integral part of Japan. At the same time, in                 investment, cross-border trade in services, and tempo-
the light of the current situation regarding Japan-ROK                     rary entry and stay of nationals for business purposes;
relations, it is not appropriate that the differences in the               (5) other trade-related issues (government procure-
stances of the two countries should develop into an                        ment, intellectual property); (6) cooperation; and (7)
emotional confrontation between the two peoples, spoil-                    mutual recognition have been discussing draft texts and
ing the friendly cooperative relations between Japan and                   other related issues. At the Japan-ROK summit meetings
the ROK. It is necessary to work toward the resolution                     held in July and December 2004, the leaders of the two
of the issue through discussions. Therefore, the govern-                   countries reaffirmed the goal of concluding substantive
ment of Japan will constantly consider more effective                      negotiations on the agreement in 2005.

19. This treaty would provide for cooperation between the investigating authorities in the two countries, such as the provision of evidence in
criminal cases. At the Japan-ROK Summit Meeting in July 2004, Prime Minister Koizumi and President Roh Moo Hyun agreed to start ne-
gotiations toward the conclusion of this treaty. The first round of negotiations was conducted in November 2004 and the second round in
February 2005.
20. This treaty would set out a legal framework for the effective protection of migratory birds that travel between Japan and the ROK, based
on standards agreed by the two countries. Its provisions would include measures to protect migratory birds and the promotion of joint re-
search on their ecology.

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